Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Ray Peacock Podcast: Forgiven, Not Forgotten

After forty-five plus episodes The Ray Peacock Podcast came to an end just before Christmas last year, a move that had the same effect as a father figure walking out whilst you are putting presents under the tree.  Ray Peacock, Ed Gamble and Raji James seemed like they had enough of the Podcasting world (as it turned out, Ray and Ed had just had enough of Raji), but the impact of their show will be fondly remembered by fans and critics alike.

The three presenters involved in this four-series show were stand-up comic Ray Peacock, up-and-coming stander-upper Ed Gamble and former Eastenders actor Raji James.  As unique a trio as a chalk, cheese and a stapler, the three were united on one front: the downfall of Raji James.  During the run of the Podcast, Raji played foil to the giggling and mischievous (some have said malevolent and bullying) Ray and Ed in such segments as “Letters For Raji” in which Ray and Ed took turns in writing badly-written and insulting letters to production companies attempting to get their acting friend back into work, and “Raji’s Autobiography” in which Ray and Ed took turns ghost-writing the life and times of the former Ash Ferreria, pushing creative license to unbelievable places.

On the outside, The Ray Peacock Podcast looks carved from the model of the hugely successful Ricky Gervais Show.  The main ingredient is there, two men picking apart a slightly slow acquaintance to funny and sometimes awkward levels of humour.  But once you start listening, you realise that this is similar to Ricky’s offering on only one front: it is a Podcast.  Ray and Ed’s child-like humour and bursts of uncontrollable laughter are as addictive as they are infectious.  To his credit Raji takes all the abuse like a pro, only ONCE walking out following a particularly violent moment which resulted in Ed biting his arm.  You get the impression that, underneath it all, these three are probably good friends and respect that they are onto a winning formula.  This theory has been put in doubt with the return of Ray Peacock and Ed Gamble to the Podcasting circle without Raji James, and with no mention of him either.  We shall discuss this once the newly titled “Peacock And Gamble Podcast” gets running proper.

It is the treatment of Raji which has polarised listeners, with some believing that the weekly acts of humiliation on the struggling actor it is only making his plight worse.  Ray aired his thoughts on this in series two, in which he rights a letter on Raji’s behalf to himself chastising those who can’t distinguish “between life and fuckin’ art!”

The three men very much run out of steam in series four when they begin to abandon numerous new segments such as “Ray and Ed’s Diet” and “Raji’s Beef” to just talk about anything on their minds, with Ray blatantly and frustratingly going through the motions in the penultimate episode.  The series concludes on a high as the three drink champagne to celebrate the end, the results of which make for entertaining listening.  If you’re one of those people who like watching your friends get very drunk very quickly then you will love the way it ends.

With The Ray Peacock Podcast done and dusted, people who missed this comedy milestone first time round have the chance to download hours of fresh, entertaining content providing they don’t side with Raji…Ray and Ed don’t like that too much.  

Download via iTunes - Ray Peacock Podcast Official Website

The Peacock And Gamble Podcast